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BLOG: Oilers enter NHL Hub City bubble

Edmonton will carry 31 players into the League's Hub City Secure Zone for what they hope will be a lengthy run

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers have entered the National Hockey League Hub City bubble.

And only they will decide when it's time to leave.

On Sunday, Edmonton and 11 other Western Conference clubs converged in Alberta's capital as the National Hockey League transitioned into Phase 4 of its Return To Play Plan. 

Thirty-one players were announced to the Oilers 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers roster for what hopes to be a lengthy run. The Orange & Blue will compete in an exhibition tune-up against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday then face the Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-five series beginning Saturday.

"Teams have done a great job as far as going into the bubble," said Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett.

"Our players are excited to get in and get playing."

Video: HUB | Moving Day 07.26.20

While Edmonton hosts the Western Conference, 12 Eastern Conference teams arrived in Toronto on Sunday. 

"This doesn't happen without the work from the NHL and NHLPA working together with health officials," said Oilers forward Zack Kassian.

"Hopefully we're in there for two months and come out as champs."

What began as a tentative plan to bring NHL action back has finally come to fruition thanks to the efforts of all those involved.

"I give our medical staff a ton of credit making sure everybody was doing the right things and the protocols were in place," Tippett said.

"You also got to give the players and staff a great deal of credit because they decided to hunker down and do what's needed to get themselves to the bubble healthy. Teams have done a great job, as far as going into the bubble."

All that's left to do now is drop the puck.

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